How Walmart, The Big Seller, Is Shopping For A Fight With Amazon

by MR Magazine Staff

Sam Walton, who opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962, considered himself a natural merchant. “I could sell,’’ he once wrote. Now the giant retailer he created must prove that it can also successfully buy. Walmart on Wednesday announced a $16 billion deal to purchase 77 percent of the Indian e-commerce service Flipkart as part of its strategy to capture a piece of a fast-growing and increasingly tech-savvy market. The Flipkart deal, one of the largest and riskiest in Walmart’s history, follows a pattern of purchases over the past 18 months that includes a men’s clothing brand and a delivery start-up. The deals were driven, in large part, by the reality that Mr. Walton’s strategy needs an update for a digital shopping age dominated by another behemoth: Amazon. For decades, Walmart was on a steady march to build ever more big-box stores across America, crushing local grocers and department stores with low prices that have allowed it to dominate small-town retail markets. But today, there is a Walmart within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population of the United States, leaving little room for expansion. Read more at The New York Times.